Northern State University welcomes applications from all who meet its requirements. Admission may be granted for either the regular academic year or summer sessions. All students seeking admission for enrollment in on-campus classes must complete the Undergraduate Admission Application form and submit the related documents before admission can be determined. All materials become the property of the University and are not returned.
Admission may be withdrawn if granted on the basis of false information willfully submitted or if facts requested in the application process are intentionally concealed or omitted. Northern State University admits all qualified students without regard to race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or religion.
New Freshmen Students
- Fill out application form.
- Pay $20.00 non-refundable application fee.
- Official high school transcript including class rank and cumulative grade point average or GED scores. If dual-credit courses were taken through another college, those official college transcripts must also be submitted.
- ACT scores or SAT scores (waived if student is 22 years old or older.)
- Immunization records
- Upon acceptance, students will be sent housing information to the email provided on the application.
- Fill out application form.
- Pay $20.00 non-refundable application fee.
- Official college transcript(s) sent directly from each college attended.
- Official high school transcript with date of graduation.
NOTE: Any transfer student whose total academic record is less than a C (2.0 GPA), or who has been on probation or suspended from the transferring institution, will either be admitted on probation or rejected. Students who are not eligible to return to the school from which they are transferring will not be admitted. Students suspended by another college for academic reasons may be admitted on probation after the lapse of two terms.
- ACT scores or SAT scores (waived if student is 22 years old or older).
- Immunization records.
- Upon acceptance, student will be sent housing information to the email provided on the application.
(Previous Northern State University students who have not attended for one or more terms and have not attended another institution.)
- Fill out Re-Entry application form.
- Other requirements, if applicable. The Admissions Office will contact you should there be other requirements.
(Students who do not intend to earn a degree at Northern State University)
- Fill out Non-degree application form and submit immunization records. (Immunization records are not required for students only registering for online classes.)
(Visiting students from another college outside SD Regental System)
- Fill out Non-degree application form.
- Submit Transient Student form.
New and returning students should return completed application, fee, and any transcripts to:
1200 South Jay Street
Aberdeen, SD 57401
If you have questions about admission or application status, call Northern State University Admissions at (605) 626-2544, or 1-800-NSU-5330.
Preadmission Immunization Requirements
Students born after December 31, 1956 who attend classes on campus must document their immune status for measles, mumps and rubella. Proof of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or of separate vaccinations against all three diseases, or of the presence of an immune antibody titer against measles, mumps and rubella shall be required. Immunization for tetanus, diphtheria and poliomyelitis, as well as a tuberculin test are recommended. This documentation may be accomplished by either a State Health Department certificate, or it may be included as part of the institution's physical exam report.
A student who fails to provide satisfactory documentation of his or her immune status shall not be permitted to register for or attend classes. Northern State University's president or the president's designee may grant an extension of the deadline for an amount of time determined necessary. In no case may the extension be longer than one semester.
Students who are unable to ascertain their immunization status may obtain, at their own expense, the necessary tests and vaccination from the Student Health Service of Northern State University, (605) 626-7694.
In the event the South Dakota State Department of Health declares an epidemic of measles, mumps or rubella, Northern State University shall provide to the State Department of Health a list of students who have not submitted immunization documentation. Subsequent campus actions shall consider the advice and authority of the South Dakota State Department of Health. Students who have no vaccination or immunity against the required preventable infectious diseases may be dismissed from the campus.
Undergraduate Admission Requirements
High School Graduates, Including Home Schooled Students. For admission to baccalaureate degree programs, high school graduates must either meet the Smarter Balanced or Curriculum requirements outlined below:
Smarter Balanced: Achieve a Level 3 or higher on the English Language Arts and Mathematics Smarter Balanced Assessments;
Curriculum: Meet the minimum course requirements with an average grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale); OR
Demonstrate appropriate competencies in discipline areas where course requirements have not been met; AND
Rank in the top 60% of their high school graduating class; OR
Obtain an ACT composite score of 18 (Redesigned SAT score of 970 (SAT score equivalent based on the 2018 College Board, ACT, Inc. concordance tables), or concorded equivalent for older SAT scores) or above; OR
Obtain a high school GPA of at least 2.6 on a 4.0 scale.
Minimum Course Requirements. All baccalaureate or general studies students under 24 years of age, including students transferring with fewer than twenty-four (24) credit hours, must meet the following minimum high school course requirements.
||Four years of English - courses with major emphasis upon grammar, composition, or literary analysis. One year of debate instruction may be included to meet this requirement.
||ACT English sub-test score of 18 or above
||Advanced Placement Language and Composition or Literature and Composition score of three (3) or above.
||Three years of advanced mathematics - algebra, geometry, trigonometry or other advanced mathematics including accelerated or honors mathematics (algebra) provided at the eighth grade level; not included are: pre-algebra, arithmetic, business, consumer, general mathematics or other similar courses.
||ACT mathematics subtest score of 20 or above
||Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Calculus BC score of three (3) or above.
||Three years of laboratory science - courses in biology, chemistry, or physics in which at least one (1) regular laboratory period is scheduled each week. Accelerated or honors science (biology, physics or chemistry) provided in the eighth grade shall be accepted. Qualifying physical science or earth science courses (with lab) shall be decided on a case-by-case basis.
||ACT science reasoning subtest score of 17 or above
||Advanced Placement Biology, Chemistry, or Physics B score of three (3) or above.
||Three years of social studies - history, economics, sociology, geography, government-including U.S. and South Dakota, American Problems, etc.
||ACT social studies/reading subtest score of 17 or above
||Advanced Placement Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Comparative or US Government and Policies, European or US History, or Psychology score of three (3) or above.
||One year of fine arts for students graduating from South Dakota high schools - art, theater, or music (appreciation, analysis, or performance). Documented evidence of high school level non-credit fine arts activity will be accepted for students graduating from high schools in states that do not require completion of courses in fine arts for graduation.
||Advanced Placement History of Art, Studio Art drawing or general portfolio or Music Theory score of three (3) or above.
Non-High School Graduates. An applicant who is not a high school graduate must obtain an ACT composite score of 18 and subscore of 18 in ACT English, Mathematics, subscore of 20 in Social Studies/Reading and Science reasoning sub-test scores of at least 17 and meet any university determined requirements for admission to baccalaureate programs. Students must be at least 18 years of age, or the high school class of which the student was a member must have graduated from high school. Students may submit a GED score in place of the ACT with the minimum score required being at least 145 on each subject and a total score of 580 or higher across all four subjects.
Non-Traditional Students. Students who are at least twenty-four (24) years of age and who have not previously attended college will be admitted at Northern State University's discretion. Applicants need to submit an application for admission (with fee), high school transcript or GED, and ACT scores (if available). Upon acceptance students will need to make arrangements immediately to take the ACCUPLACER exam.
Former Students or Transfer Students. Students returning with previous post-secondary education may apply as transfer students. Transfer students must submit a Northern State University application, the application fee*, a high school transcript with a graduation date, and a final official transcript bearing the original seal and signature of the official in charge of records from every college, university, or technical school previously attended. Transcripts must be sent directly from the previous institutions. The applicant shall also submit any other records required by the university to support the application for admission. Failure to do so shall be grounds for dismissal.
A transfer applicant with twenty-four (24) or more credits shall have maintained a C (2.0 GPA) average for all college work previously attempted. Transfer applicants with less than twenty-four credits will be evaluated for admission based on the high school graduate admissions requirements. Students who do not meet these requirements may be permitted to apply for admission after submitting satisfactory information indicating potential for success in college. A transfer student must declare a major on admission or during the third semester of collegiate work, whichever occurs last.
In general, a transfer applicant under academic suspension from the last college attended would not be considered for admission during the period of suspension, or, if for an indefinite period, until two terms after the last date of attendance. When eligible for consideration, the applicant will be considered as above. A transfer applicant under disciplinary suspension will not be considered for admission until the suspension is lifted and a statement concerning the reason for suspension is received from the previous college.
*Note: Students who transfer from another SD Regental Institution do not need to pay the application fee again. However, if the student has not attended a SD Regental Institution in the past three semesters then a $20 application fee is applicable.
Transfer Credit. All academic courses completed at colleges and universities accredited by a regional accrediting association are entered on the transcript at Northern State University. The Transfer Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions, published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers is used as a guideline for determining transferability. All transferred records become a permanent part of the students' records. All students must meet requirements of the curriculum in which they are enrolled.
Academic courses will be transferred as meeting graduation requirements if the courses parallel the scope and depth requirements for the degree or if the courses meet electives required for the degree. Evaluation of courses will be made by the appropriate institutional officials at the time of admission by comparing descriptions, content and level of courses completed with those at Northern State University. Credit will not be given for duplication of courses. Courses accepted in transfer in a discipline not represented in the Northern State University curriculum will be accepted as general electives. Orientation, Life Experience, General Educational Development Tests, and high school level courses are not recorded in Self Service Banner as transfer credit nor are they granted equivalent credit.
High school courses for which students received college credit will not be entered as transfer credit, or given equivalent credit, unless validated by an Advanced Placement or CLEP score that meets Board of Regents guidelines for acceptance of credit, the college credit is granted by a university with which the Board has a dual credit agreement, or the college credit is granted by an institution accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).
General education courses from regionally accredited vocational-technical institutes may be accepted in transfer, subject to Board of Regents policy. Credit which may be applied to a major must be validated by CLEP subject exams where applicable. Courses identified in approved articulation agreements will automatically be accepted. When a course has been repeated for credit, the last grade earned will be used in the evaluation of the acceptance of credit.
Credit earned for college level courses by examination, extension, correspondence, CLEP, advanced placement, USAFI, DANTES, military experience and other non-collegiate instruction will be evaluated and accepted for transfer if equivalent to a Northern State University course.
Total transfer credit for work at a junior or community college or at a vocational-technical college may not exceed one-half of the hours required for completion of the baccalaureate degree at the accepting institution. Students who have completed more than the acceptable semester hours of junior, community, vocational or technical college work may apply completed, transferable courses to specific course requirements and thereby may not be required to repeat the courses; however, the semester hours of credit for those additional courses are not applied toward the minimum credit hours required for the degree.
Northern State University may refuse to recognize credits from a non-accredited college or may admit the applicant on a provisional basis and provide a means for evaluating some or all of the credits. Each applicant from a non-accredited college will be considered on merit.
General education requirements successfully completed within the South Dakota higher education system will be accepted as meeting requirements for similar degree programs.
Transfer credits will be accepted with the same grade and credit as was recorded. Transfer courses from institutions with a different credit and/or grading system will be equitably converted to the semester system used at Northern State University. The Northern State University grade point average will be based exclusively upon hours completed at Northern State University. The cumulative grade point average, including transfer and Northern State University hours completed, will be used for graduation requirements and minimum progression standards. Both are used to determine graduation honors.
Courses from postsecondary institutions outside the United States are considered for transfer subject to all Board of Regents policies. When the courses are accepted for transfer, equivalent courses are recorded on the transcript but the grade earned at the sending institution is not recorded or calculated into the grade point averages.
At Northern State University, the president is responsible for insuring that regental policy is followed in determining transferability of courses in meeting graduation requirements.
Students who wish to appeal transfer of credit decisions made at the faculty level do so as follows.
- Make an appointment to discuss appeal of transfer credit decision with academic advisor.
- Fill out a "Request for Change in Transfer Equivalent" form for each course that the student would like to appeal the transfer equivalency on.
- Turn in the "Request for Change in Transfer Equivalent" form along with supporting documentation, such as a course syllabus or letter from instructor of the transfer course to the department secretary of the course you are appealing. (i.e., if the course you are appealing is a business course, turn in the form to the School of Business department's secretary.)
- The Chair of the department will review the form and supporting documentation provided by the student and either approve the request as a one-time change or a change to all future transfers of that course. The Chair may also deny the request.
- The form and documentation is then forwarded to the Registrar's Office where the credit will be updated if approved and an email of appeal decision is sent to the student and advisor.
Rising Scholar/High School Dual Credit. Northern State University encourages high school students (classified as a junior or senior) whose maturity, achievement, aptitude and goals warrant special consideration to seek dual enrollment. The program will provide high school students an opportunity to take university coursework in conjunction with high school activities. Acceptance is contingent upon meeting established class rank, GPA, and/or ACT scores. Please note that all regular student policies apply to Rising Scholars/High School Dual Credit students, (i.e., academic standing and drop/add deadlines, etc). Contact the Northern State University Rising Scholars Program Office at 605-626-7197 or the Admissions Office at 605-626-2544 for further information.
International Students. Inquiries concerning international student admission may be directed to the Office of International Programs. International students shall:
- Submit a completed application form with $20.00 (U.S. currency) admission/matriculation fee.
- Submit certified copies of certificates and transcripts reflecting records of courses and grades earned. Transcripts must have the official stamp or seal school attended and be accompanied by a professional translation to English if they were issued in a different language.
- Prove English proficiency by submitting an English language or an academic proficiency test. They may choose one of the following tests and have the results sent directly to Northern State University by the testing center: TOEFL IBT (61-70 or above)/TOEFL PBT (525 or above)/IELTS (5.5 or above)/SAT (960 or above) School Code #6487/ACT (18 or above) School Code #319. Students may also send a "Level 112" Certificate of Proficiency from English Language Services.
- Complete Northern State University's Declaration of Finances form in order to provide evidence of their capability to finance a program of study without assistance.
- Provide a copy of the biometric page of the passport.
- Complete and return immunization form.
- Purchase a Board of Regents student health insurance plan for self and family members.
- Provide a copy of an F1-Visa.
Issuance of the Certificate of Eligibility, Form I-20, A/B will be made only upon completion of all admission requirements. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make all necessary arrangements through official channels for entrance into the United States. Applicants residing in another country should make application six months prior to anticipated enrollment date in case an additional transcript evaluation is needed. Students in the United States should allow four months to complete the admission process.
Certificate and Associate Degree Programs. For admission to an associate degree program at Northern State University, students must meet one of the following criteria:
Rank in the top 60% of their graduating class; OR obtain an ACT composite score of 18 or above; OR obtain a high school GPA of at least 2.6 on a 4.0 scale; AND meet the minimum course requirements with an average grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or demonstrate appropriate competencies in the discipline areas where course requirements have not been met. Students with a GED score of 225 or above will also be admitted.
Students wishing to enroll in a certificate program will be admitted at Northern State University's discretion. Applicants need to submit and application for admission (with fee), high school transcript and ACT scores. The ACT score will be waived for students 22 and over.